Expansion of Criteria for CETS Programme

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has directed the expansion of criteria for the Childcare Education and Training Support programme (CETS) from the 27th of March 2017 to include parents attending secondary school.

This change means that parents attending secondary school are now entitled to receive childcare funding under the CETS Programme.

€3m Euro to support School Age Childcare

Guidelines for use of Schools also confirmed at launch of Action Plan

 

Joint Statement by Minister Zappone and Minister Bruton


Monday 6th March, 2017

On foot of commitments made in the Programme for a Partnership Government, and following a period of intensive collaboration and consultation, Ministers for Children & Youth Affairs and Education & Skills, Dr Katherine Zappone, T.D and Richard Bruton, T.D, are today publishing the Action Plan on School Age Childcare.

Under the plan, funding of €3m is being made available to support the provision of services aimed at school-going children.

An Inter-departmental Group, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, in close co-operation with the Department of Education and Skills was tasked by the two Ministers with setting out actions for both Departments that will lead to a quality system of affordable school age childcare with a range of choices for parents and their children for childcare out of school hours.  

The Group engaged with key stakeholders including school principals, parents, children and early years services during the course of their work.  

As part of a wider commitment to enhance the use of school facilities out of school hours, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton met with education partners in a roundtable discussion held during the summer where relevant issues were discussed.  

The Minister for Education and Skills is developing guidelines for the use of school buildings out of hours with a view to facilitating increased use of school buildings where feasible.

The voice of school age children was also sought by the Group and the results of a consultation exercise with children on their preferences for care and activities after school is included in this report.

The report concludes with specific actions that include the development of a clear quality framework for school age childcare, a tailored qualification for staff working in such services and other capacity building supports.  In summary, the Group found that:

·    National and international research and opinion converged regarding the need for certain fundamentals to be in place in order to deliver a range of high quality, affordable options for school age childcare that meet the needs of children and their parents.  These options must include both formal / centre-based school age care, and informal care by childminders.

·    Ireland needs to continue to invest in early years and school age care to catch up with its OECD counterparts in terms of quality and affordability.  This investment will help to deliver best outcomes for children and will encourage parents to enter or remain in the workforce if they wish to do so.

·    The quality of school age childcare is critical, and a robust system of quality assurance / regulation must be developed over time to assure the safety and wellbeing of children.  Such a system should include a comprehensive set of quality standards, and be accompanied by a compliance regime against these standards.

·    The quality and capacity of the school age childcare workforce is also critical, and efforts must be made to ensure that school age children are cared for by adults suitably qualified to meet their varied needs.  The preference of Irish working parents to date to opt for more informal care for their school age children through childminders must be acknowledged, and policy must reflect the need for quality and affordability measures to extend to this part of the sector also.

·    The voices of children and parents must be taken into account in designing and delivering school age childcare.  There is general agreement on the need to separate school activity from after-school activity, and for a focus on rest, relaxation and play/recreation.

Launching the Report and Action Plan, Minister Zappone said:

“While many parents actively choose to care for their children themselves, for many others the cost of childcare, concerns about its quality, or the limited availability of accessible options, prevents them from gaining employment, remaining in employment, or enrolling in education and training courses.  This Action Plan recognises that parents who cannot care for their children after the school day or during the school holidays need a variety of options to meet their childcare needs – options that are affordable, accessible and assure the wellbeing of their children.  I welcome the collaboration between my Department and the Department of Education and Skills in preparing this Report, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government to progress its recommendations.”

Minister Bruton echoed that sentiment, saying “this Report and associated actions demonstrate the value of strong collaboration across all areas of Government.  My Department and its agencies will lead on the development of a professional qualification for school age childcare workers in acknowledgement of the unique role they will play in providing a quality experience for children out of school hours.  The Action Plan contains a commitment that my Department will engage further with the relevant education stakeholders and school property owners to formulate guidelines for schools to facilitate the use of school buildings out-of-hours. I am strongly committed to working with school authorities and property owners to build on their important role as hubs for many activities within their communities including, where appropriate the provision of school age childcare. 

School Age Childcare Capital Scheme

Minister Zappone also today announced €3m in capital funding to support increased capacity for the provision of school age childcare.  The new Capital Scheme will be open to both community/not-for-profit and private services and will comprise three separate strands, as follows:

Ø    Strand A: Establishment of new School Age Childcare services

A grant of up to €20,000 will be available for the establishment of new services

Ø    Strand B: Expansion of existing services

A grant of up to €10,000 will be available for the expansion of existing services.  The provision of additional places will be a criterion for this grant.

Ø    Strand C: Improvement of existing services

A grant of up to €5,000 will be available to improve the quality of the service provided in existing services.

The School Age Childcare Capital Scheme will be implemented on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs by Pobal.  The Scheme, which will be administered on-line, will be open for applications in early April.  


Other developments in School Age Childcare

Working Group on the Development of School Age Childcare Quality Standards

The first Action in the Report’s Action Plan is the establishment of a Working Group to develop quality standards for school age childcare.  This Group, which will be established later this month, will be chaired by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and will include representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, Tusla, childcare providers and school age childcare specialists.  The Working Group will be expected to develop quality standards for school age childcare by September 2017. 

A Guide to Services for Young People with Disabilities

 

 

A Guide to Services for Young People with Disabilities 

 

Westmeath and Longford County Childcare Committees developed this directory to provide information and supports to parents and services who are caring for or educating a child or young person age 0-24 years with special needs.  Sourcing information is a difficult task regarding all aspects of disability.  The ultimate goal is to empower and help parents to source the information and supports they need to ensure their child can lead a full and independent life.  The work of the Longford and Westmeath Local Area Coordination project strongly indicates the need for one point of contact and support for disability services.  Information is itself an empowerment tool however, sourcing, using and understanding this information are barriers that parents, families and carers face.  A model that collates and updates information and coordinates support meetings would be a massive step forward in the provision of disability services in Longford and Westmeath and could be duplicated as a model of best practice throughout the country.

 

 

 

 

Good News – Bursary for Level 7, 8 and 9 Graduates now available!

 

The DCYA plan to pay a Bursary (of approx. €750) to early childhood educators who have completed a major award in Early Childhood Care and Education at Level 7, Level 8, or Level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications since the inception of the Learner Fund (2013).

 

Job Vacancies

Bright Star Academy
 
Position – 2 x Full Time Permanent Contract Positions
 

ECCE Payments

07/10/2016

ECCE Payment - It has been brought to our attention that some ECCE payments that reached bank accounts this morning are incorrect. 

We are currently working with Pobal and online support to amend this.

Capacity Survey of Early Childhood Services

Please complete the following short survey from DCYA which aims to give us an accurate picture of the capacity for childcare provision throughout Ireland.

This is a short survey (5 mins max) but the information it provides is extremely valuable for the sector.

ECCE Payments & Higher Capitation Update 13.09.16

Pobal will be issuing weekly ECCE payments from this week onwards, so any group in contract by 9am Tuesday will be paid by this Friday. If a group completes the contracting process after Tuesday, it will be the following Friday before a payment will be issued. 

Learner Fund 4 August 2016 Update

 

Following a review of Learner Fund 4,DCYA have amended the criteria to take account of feedback it has received in respect to the on-going training needs of the early year’s sector and the continuing qualification recognition process. 

Staff Wanted

We're Hiring 

Due to the expansion of our facility with another ECCE Room.

Childcare Assistants and Childcare Supervisors

All Candidates Must have minimum qualification of FETAC Childcare Level 6. Additional requirements:

 

Garda clearance, First Aid, Child Protection Training. Applicants must have a great knowledge of Aistear and Siolta.

 

Please send CV and any enquires to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ACCESS & INCLUSION MODEL (AIM) WEBSITE IS OFFICIALLY LIVE!

The Access & Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) programme.  AIM is a child-centred model, involving 7 levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child and the early years service provider.

Learner Fund 3 May 2016 - Is Now Open

A Learner who has applied to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) for qualification status recognition, and who has received a letter from DCYA verifying that their current qualification is not a Major Award, is eligible to apply for Learner Fund 3 (May 2016)in order to undertake a Major Award at Level 5 to meet future minimum regulatory qualification requirements
 
 
Learner Fund 3 (May 2016)
will open to applications on May 27th (@ 14:00 hrs.) 2016
and will close for applications on July 29th (@ 18:00 hrs.) 2016
 

Statement from Institute of Technology Carlow Re: Level 7

The Institute of Technology Carlow is please to announce that the ezpert appoint by the Department of Education & Skills to review the Level 7 (Add-On) Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood and Education & Care for higher capitation purposed has concluded that the content of the programme (i.e. the 60 credits taught during one academic year) does meet the requirements of the eligibility criteria for the higher capitation grant for the DCYA funded ECCE programme in terms of skills and knowledge.

Childminding Development Grants 2016

Who is the Childminding Development Grant for? 

Childminders, grandparents, relatives etc. who provide a childminding service in their own (childminder’s) home, or those planning to set up a new childminding service. The grant is not available to childminders caring for children in the parent’s home.

Parent & Toddler Grant Funding 2016 - NOW AVAILABLE!

Westmeath County Childcare Committee in collaboration with the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs is delighted to seek applications for a Parent & Toddler grant, from existing, or those wishing to set up, Parent and Toddler Groups. If you are involved in running a Parent & Toddler Group in Co. Westmeath and would like further information: please contact Westmeath County Childcare Committee on

044 9335454 or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 2nd September 2016. 

 

REMINDER TUSLA Re-registration

Childcare services which were previously notified to Tusla under the provisions for notification as prescribed by the Pre School Child Care Regulations 2006 are now required to be re-registered under Article 58 E of the Child & Family Agency Act 2013.

Minister Reilly publishes New Child Care Regulations

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has today signed new Child Care Regulations (the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016) which will come into effect on a phased basis from 30th June 2016.  The new Regulations provide for pre-school services, that is, those services catering for children under the age of 6 who are not attending primary school.

CCS Private Contracts Update

DCYA have activated the second batch of CCS Private contracts on the PIP system this morning Friday, April 22nd at 9am.  
79 services in this second batch will have their contracts activated on PIP simultaneously.  
A third batch will follow, based on signed contracts/application forms that may be received by the Department in the coming days.
Please see attached communication for more details.